Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I love Paris

Age: Adults
Focus: Writing


The activity below has been designed for the song "I LOVE PARIS", performed here by Frank Sinatra. I recommend this song for adults only for teens are not big fans of old songs. As for the activity, it's very simple and its ultimate goal is to engage students into writing. First, students talk about Paris based on a list of words provided by the teacher. Then, they listen to the song and work on some vocabulary. Finally, they write about their city and what they like about it. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hazard - Narrative Writing & Trial

The two last activities proposed for the song HAZARD are the ones that follow. I hope you like them. I'd be glad to know what you think, so leave a comment.


HAZARD (OPTIONS 6)

NARRATIVE WRITING

Here, students will first reflect and discuss about a few questions provided by the teacher. Then, they will watch the video of the song and finally engage into a writing task, in which they will narrate what happened. They will write an introduction, a body and a conclusion. In the end, students read their narratives to their peers. Here is an opportunity for them to use their writing skills and also their imagination since they are to come up with an ending for the story.




HAZARD (OPTION 7)

 TRIAL

Students are arranged in two groups. Then, based on the video, they reflect and discuss in order to find evidence for determining whether the man is innocent or guilty of the crime he's being accused of.

Hazard - Tic Tac Toe

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Simple Past & Passive Voice

HAZARD (OPTION 5)

Another possible activity for the song "HAZARD" by Richard Marx is Tic Tac Toe. There are also a few other tasks to be performed. However, they don't have to be done ALL TOGETHER. They're just suggestions. Choose whatever you think is appropriate for your group. The focus here is the Passive Voice, so first students look at some pictures and discuss what the items can be used for. After that, they listen to the song/watch the video and underline the verbs in the past. Then, they play Tic Tac Toe by answering questions about the song/video. When they finish, they work on an activity in which they will practice the passive voice and finally, they write a short piece of news using the Simple Past and the Passive Voice. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

We are more beautiful than we think

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Reflection & Discussion


The activity below has been designed for the song "BEAUTIFUL" by Christina Aguilera. First, students describe themselves to the person sitting next to them and then they listen to their partner's description. After that, they watch a TV commercial by Dove and say what aspect of the video they found interesting. Then, they listen to the song and find 10 vocabulary mistakes. Finally, they engage into a discussion about beauty. 


Activity - Downloadable

What did the author mean?

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Modas Of Speculation


The activity below has been designed for the song "APRIL COME SHE WILL" by Paul Simon. First, students talk about their favorite season of the year. Then, they listen to the song and fill in some blanks. After that, they speculate what the author meant when he wrote the song. 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hazard - Rhyming



HAZARD   (OPTION 4)

Another possible activity for the song "HAZARD" by Richard Marx is Rhyming. First of all, students will have some minutes to guess what the song is about by choosing from 3 options in 5 different items.  Then, they listen to the song and fill in the blanks with words that rhyme other words in the song. After that, they discuss what they think happened.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hazard - Wondering what may have happened

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Modals os Speculation


HAZARD (OPTION 3)


The activity below has also been designed for the song "HAZARD" by Richard Marx. First, students discuss what they would do if they were wrongly accused of a crime. Then, they watch the video of the song, which is about a man who is accused of a crime. Finally, they come up with sentences using Modals of Speculation.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Living in the Ghetto

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: If Clauses


The activity below has been designed for the song "IN THE GHETTO" by Elvis Presley. First, students guess what the song is about based on five words given. Then, they listen to the song and identify the difficulties of living in the ghetto. After that, they put some sentences in a chronological order. Finally, a quick review on Conditional Sentences is provided, so students practice it by writing a few sentences based on the song.

Hazard - Find 10 Mistakes

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Synonyms & Opposites


HAZARD  (OPTION 2)


The activity below has been designed for the song "HAZARD" by Richard Marx. First, students guess what the song is about by reading a quote taken from the song. Then, they listen to the song and find ten mistakes. After that, they discuss whether they were right or wrong about their guessing.

Relative Clauses

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Relative Clauses

The activity below has been designed for the song "I'M BLUE" by Eiffel 65. After having practiced the structure consistently, students work on a puzzle. Then, they listen to the song and underline the relative clauses. Finally, they write relative clauses about themselves.

Activities - Downloadable

Friday, December 13, 2013

Hazard - Bingo

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Vocabulary


HAZARD ( OPTION 1)

The activity below has been designed for the song "HAZARD" by Richard Marx. First, students guess what the song is about based on a list of words given. Then, they choose 9 words from the list and write them on a BINGO grid. After that, they listen to the song and check the words they hear. Finally, they read the lyrics and check whether their guessing was right or not. (Only then will the video be used.)


Activity - Downloadable

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wishes & Regrets

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: I Wish.../I regret...



The activity below has been designed for the song "NOBODY IS PERFECT" by Jessie J. After practicing the structure I wish… / I regret… , students start the activity by recollecting and sharing a few of their own regrets. Then, the teacher shows them the Top 5 I wish List. After that, they listen to the song and find out what the author regrets and discuss whether they related to that. Finally students engage into a discussion on people's flaws and indiscretions and the consequences of their actions.

Activities - Downloadable   

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Describing Clothes

Age: Teens and Adults
Fucus: Adjectives for Clothes


The activity below has been designed for the song "THE ONLY THING THAT LOOKS GOOD ON ME IS YOU" by Brian Adams. First, students are introduced to vocabulary used to describe clothes. Then, they watch the video and write as many phrases as possible using the words learned. Finally, students describe their favorite outfit.


Monday, December 2, 2013

The Third Person

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Simple Present


The activity below has been designed for the song "LIVING ON A PRAYER" by Bon Jovi. First, students engage into a discussion about their musical preferences. Then, they play a quick guessing game, in which they are supposed to guess the name of the band. After that, they are introduced to the vocabulary presented in the song. Then, they listen to the song and underline the Simple Present forms in the lyrics. Finally, they play the CANDY GAME.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Prejudice

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Reflection & Discussion


The song below has been designed for the song "YOU'LL BE IN MY HEART" by Phil Collins. First students have a little discussion about cartoons and whether it is possible to learn a lesson from them. Then, they listen to the song and guess what the song is about. Finally, they engage into a discussion on prejudice. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Message In A Bottle

Age: Adults
Focus: Reflection & Discussion / Writing

The activity below has been designed for the song "MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE" by THE POLICE. Students first engage into a discussion in which they will share some personal experience. After that, they listen to the song and fill in the blanks. Finally, they work on a piece of writing.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Used To

Age: Teens and Adults
Focus: Would & Used to


The activity below has been designed for the song "THE USED TO SONG" by Daughtry. After practicing the grammar point for a few classes, students list three things they did in the past and now they don't. Then, they share their lists in pairs. After that, they listen to the song and identify what the author did in the past and now he doesn't. In the end, they engage into a discussion about the things they liked doing but now they don't and why they stopped doing them. As a wrap up, they write about it.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

What were you doing when...?

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Simple Past & Past Continuous

The activity below has been designed for the song "MISUNDERSTOOD" by Bon Jovi. The activity is not based on the lyrics, but on the video. It provides the teacher with two options for activities. 

OPTION 1: Students are presented with some vocabulary and based on that, they write a story using Simple Past and Past Continuous. Then, they watch the video and compare the two stories. 

OPTION 2: Students engage into a brief discussion about what they were doing on the day of very important historical events (such events will be provided in the activity). Then, they watch the video and based on it, they write sentences using Simple Past and Past Continuous.     

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Expressing Frustration, Empathy and Encouragement

Age: Teens & Adults


The activity below has been designed for the song "CHIQUITITA" by ABBA. Fisrt, students are introduced to vocabulary related to the song. Then, they listen to the song and categorize each line as and expression of FRUSTRATION, EMPATHY or ENCOURAGEMENT. FInally, they engage into a discussion about the lyrics.

Activity - Downloadable

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Talk to the President

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Reflection and Discussion / Modals of Possibility

The activity below has been designed for the song "DEAR MR. PRESIDENT" by Pink. First, students guess who the singer is and what the song is about based on clues provided by the teacher. After that, they listen to the song and identify the issues the author would like the president to address. Finally, they arrange themselves in groups and discuss what issues need to be addressed in their country and finally write the president a letter using modals of possibility.  


Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Last Vacation

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Simple Past

The activity below has been designed for the song "COME FLY WITH ME" by Frank Sinatra. Students first answer a quiz about the teacher and then use the same questions to talk about themselves. Then, they listen to the song and answer some comprehension questions. After that, they talk in pairs about their last vacation and their plans for the next one. In the end, they write a paragraph about it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Zero Conditionals

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Zero Conditionals & Adjectives

The activity below has been designed for the song " A GROOVY KIND OF LOVE" by Phil Collins. Students share what  they do when they feel SAD, STRESSED OUT, ANGRY, NERVOUS, IN LOVE, SICK and HAPPY. Then, they listen to the song and find out what the author does when he feels sad. After that, they make a POSITIVE WALL by writing on a piece of paper what they do when they feel sad and tape them onto the wall. Students take some time reading each other´s writing.


Bullying

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Reflection & Discussion

The activity below has been designed for the song "BEAT IT" by Michael Jackson. Students listen to the song and engage into a discussion about bullying.

Activity - Downloadable

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thank you for + ING

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Subject X Object Pronouns

The activity below has been designed for the song "THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME" by Bon Jovi. First, students discuss which their favorite bands are and whether they are still playing. Then, they listen to the song and identify the subject and object pronouns. After that, they engage into a writing activity.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Guess who?

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Simple Past


The activity below has been designed for the song "SOMEONE LIKE YOU" by Adele. First, students   talk about the author based on biographical information provided. Then, they write the past of some verbs given. After that, they listen to the song and fill in the blanks using the same verbs. Finally, they rank the new words in order of difficulty. 
  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Happiness

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Vocabulary

The activity below has been designed for the song TOP OF THE WORLD by Carpenters. Students will brainstorm the word HAPPINESS. Then, they will engage into a Bingo activity and finally they will share their idea of happiness. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Fridge Song


Age: Children
Focus: There To Be & Food Items


STEP 1: Students draw what they have in their fridges. (Teachers can use a data show equipment so they can share their drawings with peers)









STEP 2: Students guess what the teacher has in his/her fridge. The teacher projects a photo of his/her fridge, so students check whether they were right.



STEP 3: Students listen to "THE FRIDGE SONG".


STEP 4: The powerpoint presentation provided for the activity allows students to write their own version of the song, so they are arranged in small groups and work on what food items they will use in it. When they finish, they write their version of the song on the board.







STEP 5: Finally, they share their song with all their peers.


video


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Having a relationship is like...

Age: Adults
Focus: Time Clauses


For the activity below, the song used is "THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL" by ABBA. It's been designed for an adult group that has recently learned TIME CLAUSES. Students engage into a discussion about relationships. Then, they listen to the song and guess the title. Finally, they write a few lines saying what they compare a relationship to, of course by using Time Clauses. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Creative Writing

The activity below has been designed for the song "A THING ABOUT YOU" by Roxette. First, the teacher shows students vocabulary from the song and then give them time to write a creative short story using it. Afterwards, they listen to the song and compare their story to the author's. As a wrap up, they list the words according to their difficulty and share them in pairs, explaining their meaning. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

If I were...

The activity below has been designed for the song "SUPER POP" by Madonna. After having practiced the structure for Second Conditionals in previous classes, the teacher writes a few items on the board (A DRINK, AN ANIMAL, A CAR, AN ARTIST, AN EMOTION, etc...)  students reflect upon and write sentences about themselves (If I were an animal, I would be a _____.) After that, they share their sentences and listen to the song. Then, students compare their lists with the singer's. In the end, they sing their version of the song. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Self Image

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Reflection & Discussion

The activty proposed here has been designed for the song "UNPRETTY" by TLC. First, students in pairs take some minutes to describe themselves physically. After that, they discuss whether their self-description was positive or negative. They watch the TV commercial for Dove called "Real Beauty Sketches" and tell their peers what impression the video made on them. After that, they listen to the song and identify 10 mistakes. Finally, they engage into a discussion about  how people see themselves. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rules

Age: Children
Focus: Commands


On the first week, students are introduced to the classroom rules. After practicing the commands by doing some written activities and oral practice through flashcards and powerpoint slides, I play the song "RULES FOR THE CLASSROOM", which I found in YouTube. Guess what... It's very cute and catchy.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The City I Love

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Talking about places
Ultimate Goal: Writing


The activity below has been designed for a lesson in which students learn vocabulary used to talk about a place ( BREATHTAKING, SEASONED TRAVELER, OVERRUN WITH TOURISTS, WANDER OFF THE BEATEN PATH, IN YOUR FACE, ISOLATED, REMOTE, HUSTLE AND BUSTLE, etc...) After practicing the vocabulary, students brainstormed words related to New York. Then, they shared the words they came up with and listened to the song "A HEART IN NEW YORK" by Paul Simon. After listening to the song, students engaged into a discussion about the uniqueness of the city. Finally, they were encouraged to write a short poem or a paragraph about a city they enjoy going to and then shared their pieces of writing with their peers.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Teenagehood

Age: Teens

In our teenagehood, we usually don't want to conform. It is a time of doubts, questioning and anger. The activities below give students the opportunity to share with their peers what they expect from the future. They will also be able to practice the grammar point - future forms (Will, Going to, Present Continuous, Future Continuous and Future Perfect. Finally, they can also write about it. It is up to the teacher what to focus on. Here are three possible ways to work on the song "THE ANTHEM" by Good Charlotte.

1) Grammar Focus: Future Forms
2) Reflection & Discussion
3) Writing


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Men X Women

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Reflection & Discussion

The activity below has been designed for the song "WOMAN IN CHAINS" by Tears for Fears. There is a vocabulary presentation with words and expressions from the lyrics and a fill-in-the-blank activity. In the end, students debate about the meaning of the song and watch an interview with the author, who explains what he meant. Students then engage into a discussion about whether they agree with the author or not. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tell + O + Infinitive

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Infinitives / Adjectives for Personality

The activity below has been designed for the song "DON'T TELL ME" by Madonna, which shows a little bit of the singer's personality, as in all her songs. Teachers here can explore that by engaging students into a discussion about their own personality as well. Also, the song has the affirmative and negative forms of infinitive verbs. (Remember that you don't necessarily have to focus on both aspects of the song. In case of time constrains, choose one and adapt the worksheet accordingly.)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

School Items

Age: Children
Focus: School Items


The song below has the tune of "YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE" . I sing it with my little ones to practice the vocabulary learned, which is school items. Initially, I write the words on the board in the sequence they appear in the song and elicit the lyrics from them. Eventually, they memorize it and don't need the words anymore. The cool thing about this song is that the items don't necessarily have to be in the order suggested here. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Writing a Formal Letter

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Modals for Obligation, Advice & Possibility / Subjunctives
Ultimate Goal: Writing a Letter

The activity below has been designed for the song "ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE" by Phil Collins. The focus here is the use of modals and subjunctives to write a formal letter. Students first engage into a conversation about  poverty, which is a serious and controversial issue. At this point, they must have already practiced on modals for advice, possibility and obligation. Subjunctives are also recommended here for more advanced students. After discussing about it, students are challenged to imagine what they would write on a letter addressed to the President. This task can be done in class, so you can monitor the use of the grammar structure and students can share their writing pieces with their peers.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Find 10 mistakes

Age: Teens & Adults
Focus: Vocabulary

The activity below has been designed for the song "I CAN'T LIE" by Maroon 5. Students go over the vocabulary presented (REJECTION, LOVE, LOSS, PAIN, PEACE OF MIND, GRIEF, GENEROSITY and FREEDOM) and discuss in what real-life situations we experience each one of them and why, which is an opportunity for sharing their own experience. Afterwards, they listen to the song and find 10 mistakes. In the end, they discuss about the impression the song made on them. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Target Audience

Teaching children songs is always fun because they will clap hands, dance around and sing along. Very few young learners will not be willing to participate. As for adult students, they will enjoy anything that provides them with opportunities to learn. They want to know the meaning of every word and what grammar point is being presented. They don't care much for singing, so focusing on grammar and vocabulary usually does the trick. Another positive aspect about adults is that they don't care whether the song is new or old, but whether they can learn something from it. Having song activities for teens, on the other hand, is an entirely different thing.  They don't care for learning, they just want to have some fun. They may also not respond well to old songs, so having a song list devised by them as a reference is advisable. They do respond well to challenging tasks or tasks that involve controversial issues, which will consequently lead to warm discussions.  

Adapting

Feel free to adapt the song activities presented here to any other song of your choice. There are thousands of songs, therefore thousands of possibilities!

Song List

A good idea for Day 1, a day in which you take some time to get to know your students, is give each of them a sheet of paper, so they can write down their personal list of favorite songs/singers/bands. You can use the information collected for future reference in case you feel the need to design one specific song activity. 

Power Point Slides

The powerpoint slides provided here are optional, but they are very appealing and add value to the activity. Sometimes, due to time constraints or because it was a last minute decision, the teacher is not able to provide students with photocopies of the lyrics and the activities proposed. Depending on the activity the teacher selects, only the powerpoint presentation will be enough.

Videos

The song activities provided here have a powerpoint presentation, a student's sheet to be photocopied and given to students, a teacher's sheet with specific instructions for the teacher and a video from the Youtube. Although all the activities contain a video, some tasks only require the audio in order to be accomplished. 

Welcome Post

" Music is the universal language of mankind." 
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

It´s no secret to us all that music is a powerful thing, more than that, it is a very effective learning tool. However, teachers resist using it in class because they think all they can do is FILL-IN-THE-BLANK activities, which tend to become boring after some time. Actually, song activities can go beyond that and that´s what this blog is about. Besides fill-in-the-blank activities, you will find a lot more.

Having in mind that music is such a powerful learning tool and after getting very positive feedback in the classroom during song activities I had designed, I came up with the idea of the blog with the collaboration of two dear friends and colleagues, Fernanda Barboza and Jorge Alexandre. During  the activities, students felt motivated and truly engaged. They also felt good about themselves for being able to understand and perform the tasks proposed. Song activities spice up classes and keep students attentive and participatory. So, let us give music a try, shall we?